Bufalino agrees, arguing there's little point in pushing such therapy when there's so much downside and so little benefit.
"There are some small subgroups inside the groups that show some statistical benefit, but I think we would all be cautious at this time based on this report," Bufalino said of the American Cancer Society research. "If you just look at it on the surface, it's not clearly definitive."
And perhaps adding fuel to the fire of doubts, reports emerged Aug. 5 that a pharmaceutical company that makes HRT had paid a medical communications firm to help produce 26 studies supporting its use. Those studies were published in 18 medical journals between 1998 and 2005, according to a report first published by the New York Times.
The drug maker, Wyeth, contends that the studies were scientifically accurate. None of the papers disclosed Wyeth's role in initiating and funding the work.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on hormone therapy.
SOURCES: Vincent Bufalino, M.D., president and CEO, Midwest Heart Specialists, chairman, Midwest Heart Foundation, and medical director, Edward Heart Hospital, Naperville, Ill.; Susan M. Gapstur, Ph.D., M.P.H., vice president, epidemiology, American Cancer Society; April 22, 2009, presentation, American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, Denver; American Cancer Society, news release, Feb. 2, 2009; Oct. 1, 2008, European Heart Journal, online; Sept. 23, 2008, Journal of the National Cancer Institute
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